Florida Skin Divers Association
Ken and Sonia Smith Endowment Fund
In 2012, the Florida Skin Divers Association’s (FSDA),  long-time member and FSDA treasurer Ken Smith was in failing health. The FSDA board wanted to honor Ken and his wife Sonia for their years of service to the FSDA. To create a legacy, in which to honor the dedication of Ken & Sonia Smith, the FSDA board voted to create the “Ken & Sonia Smith Marine Conservation Endowment Fund”. This fund was created to help a deserving student benefit their studies in the field of Marine Research, Education and Protection.

FSDA members for almost thirty years, Ken and Sonia facilitated the “Ocean Pals Poster Contest for Children”, which is an environmental education-through-art program as well as participating and assisting at FSDA tournaments and events. Ken & Sonia were both avid photographers both below and above the water, their home was filled with their many photographs of their travels and adventures (and the awards they won for many of those photographs). For many years, Ken was the FSDA treasurer and he and Sonia could be found at the FSDA events selling entry and raffle tickets. Ken & Sonia were also very active in their dive club the Reef Rowdies, putting together trips and club events for their members.  We lost Ken in 2014 and most recently lost Sonia on the eve of 2019. Ken and Sonia’s  spirit touched everyone around them and their contagious optimism and love for life, diving adventures, and the community will be greatly missed.

The FSDA is fortunate to be in the fishing capital of the world and home to a world-class center for marine science. Our members have a vested interest in the care, conservation and management of our marine resources. This scholarship will be provided to one college student (bachelor’s or higher) currently enrolled in a school program within the state of Florida studying marine science. The scholar will be chosen based on their academics and qualities that exemplify Sonia and Ken’s passions for diving, marine conservation, and youth education. The award will be provided at the FSDA Annual Banquet & Casino Night on February 16th. The recipient will receive 2 free entries and are highly encouraged to attend.

Application Instructions:
Applicants must submit an email to meaghanfaletti@aol.com by February 1st at 5 p.m. with the following materials:
- Letter explaining research/professional goals, and commitment to both marine conservation and education/outreach (max 2 pages)
- Graduate transcript (unofficial)
- Curriculum Vitae (max 3 pages)

Application for Endowment Fund

Ken & Sonia Smith Endowment Fund.pdf
click to download
The FSDA has voted to fund $500.00 each calendar year towards the endowment fund. The FSDA will graciously accept donations towards the fund so that more than one scholar can be awarded, when funds are available.
Ken selling raffle tickets.
Ken, the FSDA treasurer for years, selling raffle tickets at an FSDA event.
At many FSDA events, Sonia could be found interacting with the kids at the Ocean Pals Booth.
Maria and Lori Smith (Sonia's daughters) and FSDA member Pat Fredette with Sonia, at the 2012 FSDA Banquet to honor Sonia & Ken with the start of the endowment fund.